Sheep strut their stuff at 4-H Fair

August 04, 1993|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

Determination won the prize when the 8- to 10-year-olds showed their sheep at the 4-H Fair yesterday.

Katie Henley's lamb pushed her, stepped on her and even knocked her down and walked on her.

But she withstood the punishment to win her class for fitting and showing.

"That lamb is bigger than she is and knows he can manhandle her," said John Sponaugle in judging the sheep. "But she had the lamb in the best situation to observe most of the time."

The contest was one of several during the second day of the annual Carroll County 4-H fair.

Activities yesterday included local 4-H club members entering exhibits in needlecraft and gardening, and showing their small pets during the show for Clovers. Clovers, age 6 and 7, are the youngest 4-Hers.

During the fitting and showing portion of the sheep show, participants must show how well they can handle an animal and hide its weak points.

None of the animals were on leashes, so exhibitors had to grab them by the scruff of the neck and tail to control them.

"I'm going to evaluate you on the very best job you can do," Mr. Sponaugle told the participants.

In other categories, such as the Suffolk ewe event won by Aaron Geiman, the animals were judged by how close they resemble the ideal characteristics of their breed.

Mr. Sponaugle, director of the national Suffolk sheep organization, breeds Suffolk sheep and turkeys in Grottoes, Va. He also is a past president of the national Suffolk sheep organization.

This was his first year judging animals at the Carroll County 4-H fair.

For the intermediate class -- participants ages 11 to 13 -- Mr. Sponaugle put the champion through one extra test. During the initial judging, he placed John Norris fourth to see how he would react.

"He handled it like a true gentleman," Mr. Sponaugle said of the eventual champion. "He is the most confident showman in the ring. He did the best job of anyone out there and made sure I knew how good an animal he thought he had."

Throughout the entire contest, Mr. Sponaugle complimented the participants on their enthusiasm and their ability to work with their animals.

"This is the happiest group of showmen I've ever seen," he said of the 8- to 10-year-old class. "I saw a lot of smiles and they worked very hard. This is the hardest working group I've seen all day."

During the Clovers' small pet show, it was difficult to tell who was more human when 8-year-old Kristyn Close entered the ring.

Dressed in a pinkish-brown rabbit suit, complete with ears, feet and tail, Kristyn tried to be the twin of her Flemish giant bunny, Jeremy.

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